For a single family vacation, we don’t usually put too much thought into our meals but when traveling with multiple families, it’s crucial. By planning out our meals ahead of time, it allows us to enjoy the trip and be efficient with any cooking, avoids over-buying and duplicates, and takes away the urge to dine out every night.
We’ve got a couple ways of dealing with meals when traveling together, or with more families. Each has pros and cons, and is sometimes dependent on who we’re traveling with or how busy each of us are in the days leading up tot the trip.
- one person takes responsibility
- divide up meals between each person / family
Continue scrolling! – at the bottom of this post, we’ll share a free printable / sharable document that we use with other families when planning for a weekend away.
One Person Meal Prep
This is a good option if the other members of the group aren’t picky, are too busy leading up to the trip, or just don’t like cooking. This worked well with our camping trip because Sara had an especially busy week prior and it was easier for Katie to do all the shopping, prep, and bring the food. We then split the cost of groceries. A few weeks later, on a weekend trip to Crane Lake, MN, we did the opposite. Katie’s family has done this before on their winter family cabin trips and they just choose meals ahead of time that are generally well-liked by everyone joining.
Divide Meals Between Families
Generally, this is the option we tend to use for most of our trips. This is especially the case when traveling with more than our two families, such as our trips to Alderwood Resort in Manitowish Waters, WI and Porte Haven in Door County, WI when we had another family joining.
We’ve created a spreadsheet that has the dates and meals listed out and is then emailed out to the group to sign up for meals. Each person/family is then responsible for bringing the ingredients needed for “their” meal and making the food for the whole group. This works well when traveling with friends and having similar food preferences.
This option allows us to avoid duplicates of things for the most part since we’re only buying what we need. Sometimes we’ll sign up to bring condiments, beverages, and snacks for the group as well and list that out for everyone to see when making their lists. We’ll also include any appliances or equipment we’ll plan to bring, such as citrus squeezer, blender, etc.
Free Shareable Meal Planning Template for Multiples Families on Vacation
Below, we’ve shared our Meal Planning for Multiple Families template that we use ourselves. It’s a nice option to send out to the group so everyone can view and edit the form leading up to the trip.
Meal Plan Template
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD file – use in Google Docs and make shareable with friends to plan for your next weekend getaway!
These meal planning tips go way back to our first large group trip out of college when 18 adults spent a weekend away at a cabin in northern Wisconsin, and we’ve been working on perfecting them ever since.
Want ideas for meals we love to make when traveling? They’re quick and easy, share many of the same ingredients, and allow us more time for fun and less time cooking and cleaning up afterwards!